The ultimate guide to making no-bake protein balls at home. Healthy peanut butter protein balls with plenty of variations like oatmeal, chocolate, and mocha. These power balls are naturally vegan and I’ll show you how to make them keto too. They’re the perfect on-the-go snack, post workout recovery treat, or breakfast. 

Photo of six different flavors of peanut butter protein balls on a cutting board, including: oatmeal raisin, double chocolate, trail mix, mocha, almond joy, and peanut butter oatmeal.

While I most often use protein powder for my 5 Best Protein Shakes, smoothies, it also works well in homemade protein balls and bars. I’ve been making energy bars and balls for many years and it’s definitely time to share a high protein ball recipe. 

Though I love my post-workout protein smoothies, on cold days a protein bar or ball sounds better. The great thing about making your own protein balls is that you get to control exactly the quality and ingredients that goes into them. These tasty little two-bite treats are a great after working out, but also for a breakfast or snack on the go. 

 

5 ingredients for protein balls on a white marble countertop. Oats, peanut butter, protein powder, maple syrup, flax meal, and water.

5 Primary Ingredients for Peanut Butter Protein Balls

  • Nut Butter. Nut butter, such as peanut butter, almond butter or cashew butter will help bind the ingredients together while adding delicious flavor and natural fats. Cashew butter has the most neutral taste, so if you don’t want to taste peanut butter use that. For a nut-free option, use sunflower seed butter. 
  • Protein Powder. What makes these bites protein balls rather than energy balls, is the added protein. The protein powder you use here is crucial to the end result, so use one that you find tastes good in smoothies. If you’re not sure you like the flavor of your powder, start slow, only using ½ scoop to start, and increasing as you’d like in the future. I like to use an organic pea protein here and use either vanilla or unflavored. I use the same method for my High Protein Oatmeal
  • Maple Syrup. Homemade protein and energy balls always need something sticky to bind and add sweetness and flavor. You don’t have to use maple syrup, however. Date syrup, agave, or honey (bee-free for vegan) all work. 
  • Almond Flour or Oats. While many protein ball recipes don’t include almond flour or oats, I find the flavor and texture to be so much tastier with it. 
  • Water. Because protein powder is so dry, you’ll need to add water to moisten and bind. 
  • Coconut Oil (optional). While completely optional, I’ve found that these power balls don’t dry out as much with a little coconut oil mixed in. 
Six bowls filled with the ingredients for no-bake homemade protein balls. Text over each bowl says what flavor is in the bowl: mocha, trail mix, oatmeal raisin, chocolate brownie, almond joy, and peanut butter. Finished power balls can be seen at the top.

Protein Ball Variations 

Energy balls, power balls, protein balls… whatever you want to call them, they are a lot of fun to get creative with. While I’m sharing my favorite flavors, and I can’t decide which is truly the favorite (possibly the mocha chip), I encourage you to come up with your own flavor combinations. 

  • Flax, Chia, or Hemp Seeds.  Add a tablespoon of one of these nutritious seeds or seed meals fo added protein in addition to Omega-3s. 
  • Chopped Nuts. Almonds, pecans, peanuts, and hazelnuts all add great texture and crunch to the otherwise soft bites. 
  • Dried Fruit. Cranberries, raisins, cherries, and dried apricots add more flavor and chewy texture that go well with nuts. 
  • Dark Chocolate. One of my favorite additions, chopped dark chocolate adds both flavor and texture and goes with most protein ball flavors, especially peanut butter. 
  • Coconut. Mix in unsweetened flaked coconut, or roll the balls in it as a coating. 
  • Coat in sprinkles. Though not the healthiest option, rolling the balls in sprinkles is just fun!  

How to Make Keto Protein Balls

To make keto protein balls you’ll need to use a sugar-free syrup. Moreover, the best keto maple syrup I’ve found is from Lakanto, and is sweetened with monkfruit. You’ll also want to be sure your protein powder is keto and avoid using oats, so use almond flour instead. Additionally, you can add a couple of teaspoons of coconut or MCT oil to your keto protein balls for more fat and moisture. 

A small cookie scoop scoops a ball of peanut butter oatmeal protein ball dough.

How to Make Protein Balls

This is such a simple recipe that’s made all in one bowl, so there’s no need for a mixer or food processor. You can just pop the ingredients in the bowl and mix! 

Homemade Protein Ball Tips 

  • These are great for meal prep! Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week or freezer for up to 3 months. I prefer to store these in the freezer as they don’t get rock hard, just perfectly cold and firm! 
  • A cookie scoop really helps create uniform balls, though you can use a teaspoon or tablespoon. 
  • I think these taste best with some added texture, whether it’s chopped nuts, seeds, chocolate, coconut, or oats. 
  • If using unsalted peanut butter, you may want to add a pinch of sea salt. 

More Protein & Energy Balls

Yield: 5 (1.5 inch) Balls

No Bake Protein Balls

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

How to make no-bake peanut butter protein balls 7 ways, including oatmeal, chocolate, and more! Vegan and keto friendly protein energy balls are a tasty and healthy snack.

6 different protein balls on a wooden board.

Ingredients

Peanut Butter Oatmeal

  • 1/2 scoop protein powder (about 15 grams)
  • 1/3 cup oats (gluten free if needed)
  • 1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie

  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans (optional)

Mocha Chip

  • 1/2 scoop protein powder
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground coffee
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Almond Joy

  • 1/2 scoop protein powder
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons chopped almonds
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water

Trail Mix

  • 1/2 scoop protein powder
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup trail mix
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water

Oatmeal Raisin

  • 1/2 scoop protein powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup oats (gluten free if needed)
  • 1/4 cup nut butter
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Keto Peanut Butter Protein Balls

  • 1/2 scoop keto protein powder
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar-free syrup such as Lakinato
  • 1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons water

Instructions

  1. Place all the ingredients for your desired protein ball flavor in a medium sized bowl. Mix together with a spoon until the ingredients come together into a dough. Add more water as needed to moisten, or more dry ingredients as needed.
  2. Taste the dough before rolling balls. The flavor can vary quite a bit depending on your protein powder so you may want to adjust the sweetness by adding more syrup, a pinch of sea salt, or dry ingredients.
  3. Use a tablespoon or small cookie scoop to scoop balls of dough. Roll between your hands until balls are formed. Place in a large food storage container.
  4. Refrigerate your protein balls for up to one week or freeze for up to 3 months. They won't completely harden in the freezer, so I like to store them there.

Notes

  • Feel free to mix in a tablespoon of flax, hemp, or chia seeds for added nutrition.
  • You can use any nut butters you have on hand. If using unsalted, you may want to add a pinch of sea salt.
  • This recipe has been written using only 1/2 scoop of protein powder (about 15 grams), as the flavor can be overpowering. Start here, but know you can add a full scoop and a bit more water if you'd like for a higher protein treat. I usually use about 3/4 scoop. Both vanilla and unflavored protein powders work. I like to use a pea-based protein from Garden of Life or New World Nutrition.
  • I use a small cookie scoop to make uniform balls that take a few bites to eat. If you'd like 1-bite protein balls you can make them half the size and you'll end up with about 10, which is perfect if you're taking them hiking or cycling.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1 ball (calculated for peanut butter oatmeal balls)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 128Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 69mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 6g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your favorite calculator.